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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) announced 42 Division II member schools are recipients of the Presidents’ Award for Academic Excellence, presented to member schools earning an Academic Success Rate (ASR) of 90% or higher. Ten more schools than last year earned the award, setting an all-time high for the 10-year program.

Mercyhurst University – which fields a men’s varsity team in the Mid-Atlantic Water Polo Conference (MAWPC) and a women’s program in the Western Water Polo Association (WWPA) – holds a rare distinction as the Lakers are the lone varsity water polo sponsoring institution to earn recognition.  Biola University – which announced its intention to begin fielding varsity men’s and women’s varsity water polo programs starting during the 2021-22 academic year – also earned recognition.

“The Presidents’ Award for Academic Excellence recognizes Division II member schools for their commitment to a balanced college experience that supports the academic success of college athletes,” said Sandra Jordan, chancellor of the University of South Carolina Aiken and chair of the Division II Presidents Council. “Ten more institutions earned this award than last year, setting an all-time high for this program, but most importantly, this means college athletes at these schools are achieving academic success that will benefit them for the rest of their lives.”

The Academic Success Rate is the percentage of student-athletes who graduate within six years of initial collegiate enrollment and includes virtually all Division II student-athletes.

Unlike the federal rate, the Division II ASR includes nearly 34,000 non-scholarship student-athletes and accounts for those who transfer to a Division II school after initial enrollment elsewhere, while removing student-athletes who leave school while academically eligible. The national ASR for the four cohorts of student-athletes who entered college from 2010 to 2013 is 74%.

Division II student-athletes continue to graduate at a higher rate than the general student body. Even when using the less-inclusive federal graduation rate, the 2013 entering class of student-athletes graduated at a rate of 62%, compared with 53% for the general student body.

Schools receiving the Presidents’ Award are:

School Four-Year ASR Conference
Bentley University

99

Northeast-10 Conference
Saint Michael’s College

98

Northeast-10 Conference
Thomas Jefferson University

98

Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference
Hillsdale College

97

Great Midwest Athletic Conference
Biola University

96

Pacific West Conference
Rollins College

96

Sunshine State Conference
Point Loma Nazarene University

95

Pacific West Conference
Trevecca Nazarene University

95

Great Midwest Athletic Conference
Seattle Pacific University

94

Great Northwest Athletic Conference
Dominican University of California

94

Pacific West Conference
Cedarville University

94

Great Midwest Athletic Conference
Eckerd College

94

Sunshine State Conference
Rockhurst University

94

Great Lakes Valley Conference
Maryville University of Saint Louis

94

Great Lakes Valley Conference
Davenport University

93

Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference
Regis University (Colorado)

93

Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference
University of the Sciences

93

Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference
Stonehill College

92

Northeast-10 Conference
Flagler College

92

Peach Belt Conference
William Jewell College

92

Great Lakes Valley Conference
Le Moyne College

91

Northeast-10 Conference
St. Edward’s University

91

Lone Star Conference
Mercyhurst University

91

Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference/Mid-Atlantic Water Polo Conference (MWP)/Western Water Polo Association (WWP)
Assumption University

91

Northeast-10 Conference
Southern Wesleyan University

91

Conference Carolinas
St. Thomas Aquinas College

91

East Coast Conference
Adelphi University

91

Northeast-10 Conference
Lewis University

91

Great Lakes Valley Conference
Florida Southern College

91

Sunshine State Conference
Barry University

91

Sunshine State Conference
University of Puerto Rico, Bayamon

91

Independent
Concordia University, St. Paul

91

Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference
Michigan Technological University

91

Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference
Saint Anselm College

90

Northeast-10 Conference
Western Washington University

90

Great Northwest Athletic Conference
Davis & Elkins College

90

Mountain East Conference
Truman State University

90

Great Lakes Valley Conference
Converse College

90

Conference Carolinas
West Chester University of Pennsylvania

90

Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference
Daemen College

90

East Coast Conference
Caldwell University

90

Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference
Georgia College

90

Peach Belt Conference
Collegiate Water Polo Association